Looking Ahead to Summer Session 2016

Spring registration just started today, so it might strike you as just a little odd that we are already talking about the summer session! About this time two years ago, we had an open forum to review a number of policies related to the summer. Last year, we redoubled our efforts to stress collaborative planning. These developments have been partially successful in addressing some of the challenges affecting our summer session but work remains. As the articles in this newsletter suggest, summer 2015 brought mixed results.

We did not increase overall student enrollment, as we had hoped to do, but the decline we experienced was far less steep than it had been in other recent summer sessions, and there were a few clear bright spots as well, most notably in the number of successful on-line courses. Fully 25% of the courses that ran this past summer were offered on-line, up from about 7-8% in summers 2012 and 2013 and about 13% in summer 2014. Our students apparently want this flexibility in the summer, and I’m pleased that we’re beginning to meet that demand.

I was also pleased that after a fifteen-year hiatus, we were able this past summer to reintroduce compensation for faculty sponsors of internships and individual studies. As outlined in what follows, we will continue to work to build on these successes. Ultimately, we want a summer session that effectively serves students’ needs, especially as students work to ensure their timely graduation. It is also the case that our annual budget planning includes assumptions about summer session enrollment, so it is important that we do everything we can to maximize summer session enrollment. I thank all of you for working with your department chairs, your associate deans and deans, and with Associate Provost John Morello as together we seek to increase overall year-to-year summer enrollment for the first time since summer 2010!

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